Monday, January 4, 2016

A Little More Detail

I received an email over the weekend asking me how I am going to get more exercise without doing things I don't want to do. In the course of the conversation via email, I was asked about going to the gym, swimming, using a FitBit, lifting weights, biking, or forcing myself to walk long distances. I replied that no, I am not planning to do *any* of these things right now. So how am I going to be more active, without any of this? And why?

I have spent a lot of years making myself do exercise I didn't want to do. Some things I forced myself into that I hated:

going to the gym and doing circuits on the machines
walking on an indoor track, round and round and round
going to exercise classes at various gyms
water aerobics at the gym
walking outside in the cold or rain
doing aerobics videos at home

Things I have made myself do that I sort of liked:

Taking aerobics classes with a group of friends
Lifting weights at home, short sessions 2-3 times a week
Riding my recumbent exercise bike while watching tv

Things I really enjoyed and would do even if it wasn't part of a fitness/health/weight loss goal:

Walking a couple miles in nice weather
Raking leaves
Yard work like pulling weeds, planting, cleaning up the yard, pruning trees
Cleaning the house (yes, this can really get your heart rate up if you get into it)
Playing with the kids
Playing with the dogs
Roller skating (I need to get a good 40 pounds off before I would feel safe doing this again.... knee issues)
Hiking in the woods

So what I mean by not doing things I hate, is not doing the stuff on that top list anymore. Oh, maybe if there was a new class at a new gym or something I might try it, but only would go back if I really enjoyed it. I am totally open to trying new things, but I won't force myself. It's just not sustainable. I may do some things on the "sort of liked" list at times. But the majority of my movement is going to come from doing things I really enjoy, on the bottom list. It's not traditional "exercise," but it is movement that I can keep doing for the rest of my life. It's stuff I can increase as I am able (right now I need a break after vacuuming the house. Eventually I will be able to vacuum and then mop all at once... and add more and more activity over time).

Do I think that yard and housework, a couple miles walk, and playing with kids and dogs will be enough activity for me when I weigh 50 pounds less? No, probably not. By that point some of the middle-list items will be more appealing and I can add them more frequently (I really loved biking and lifting at certain points in my life, when I was lighter and more fit). I'll tackle that when I get to it.

On the eating front, today I don't feel so well. Kind of have an uneasy stomach and a headache going on (probably PMS related) so I had a Greek yogurt for breakfast, tomato soup for a snack, and lunch was a little cheesy broccoli rice and some leftover steak stroganoff (with vegetables instead of pasta). I'm having some coffee now. I've been drinking several cups of (decaf) a day since one of my kids got me a Keurig for Christmas. Love it!

That's about all I have to share for now. Hope this clarifies my plan a bit!


Anonymous said...

Omg! Someone who likes raking and yard work? How is that even possible? :)

Anonymous said... best, if you actually clean up the way you eat and stick to a lower-carb, higher protein whole foods menu with very, VERY occasional and very, VERY small "treats" or "off-plan" items...and do a few minutes of easy activity every single day, you might lose 10-12 pounds this year. Will you really call that success?

LHA said...

A very realistic exercise plan. I especially note that you are open to trying some of the older "sort of liked" exercises again as your weight goes down, and I can tell that you are willing to experiment to find ways to move around more as time goes on. The word "sustainable" is the key, and it is very important to find a form of exercise that you can keep doing. I totally agree that forcing yourself to do something you hate is not going to last. Good thinking!

Lyn said...


lol, yep I love being outside in the fresh air, even if I am doing work! I guess that is a blessing, right?


What you described is not what I've described... but, if I follow what I've outlined and lose 10-12 pounds this year and it stays off, yes! That will definitely be a success for me.

Lyn said...


Thanks. I am not going for "get this weight off fast in any way possible" this time. I am going for "get it off, keep it off, and enjoy doing it!"

Steelers6 said...

This post sounds like my friend is in a good place in her head. I like that. It doesn't feel discouraged, but sounds rather upbeat, & ready to go.
Perspective is probably a big part of this journey called life, & it sounds like a positive perspective to me.
Hello 2016!

Lori said...

Sustainability is vital and the only thing that will ultimately get you to your goals. It sounds like you are learning the lessons from the past and making the best decisions for you. Good for you.

Karin said...

You don't have to justify yourself to anyone. Period. You do what you want to do when you want to do it. If you are happy with the way things are going then great...if not, then things need changing, but no one can or should judge you for the way you decide to take things into your own hands. I've seen so many negative comments regarding this (you know that there are those out there that mock you daily...I swear they have no life) Regardless of what you choose to do or not do so long as you're happy with your decision and can live with it in a genuine way, that's the important thing. I wish you all success. You've had a rough few years but you're still here, still trying and still sharing your experience. To those who would mock or make fun...seriously, get a life. Good for you if you've got it all figured out and are full of answers but when you mock or choose to be mean about someone else's struggles you lose all credibility.

PamL said...

I haven't been able to read a lot the second half of this year, so I just saw that you are back blogging! Welcome back! Sounds like you have a good plan going. That sounds like a great way to stay focused and positive! :) I think your plan sounds very good, and if you "only" lost 10-12 pounds between now and next year, I think that sounds a whole lot better than gaining! :)

Anonymous said...

June 2013 - December 2013 I lost 80 pounds. (From 261 down to my low of 176 I lost 85 pounds, but I am up as of today post holidays at 181.0). I have kept the weight off for 2 years now. I would like to lose another 20-40 pounds. I am a solid size 14, BMI 29.1. Having said all that, I didn't exercise at all to lose the weight, nor have I exercised to keep the weight off. Exercise is great for increased cardiovascular health, improved insulin sensitivity and keeping fit as we age. It DOES NOT burn enough calories to make any real difference for weight loss. If I sit for 1 hour reading I burn 85 calories at my height and weight. If I walk for 1 hour at 3.5 mph (walking for exercise pace) I burn 247 calories. That is a difference of 162 calories for 1 HOUR of exercise! The problem for me (and I would wager most fat people), is that any time I purposely exercise, I get such an increase in appetite that I easily have an increase in food intake of 400-500 calories. I simply CAN NOT control my eating when I get exercise related hunger. Thus, I don't purposely exercise beyond occasional walking or HIIT type of exercise. As I lost weight, I naturally increased how much activity was comfortable for me. So, I do have more activity than I used to, but only what is a natural result of not packing around so much extra weight. I DO try to do occasional walking to help with general fitness and sometimes lift weight or do something hard to keep my muscles in good shape, but I no longer try to incorporate exercise in any way to being a part of weight loss or staying at this weight. For ME, I just can not control my food intake when I increase cardio exercise.

Weight loss is 98% diet IMHO.

Antonia said...

Your exercise plan sounds great. As a European I am always amazed how Americans will drive for miles to go to the gym :) I used to stress myself out about needing to do sports activities I don't enjoy. Now I just seize every opportunity to be outside and moving, like cycling to work and walking places, and I have never been thinner.
Everyone's exercise needs are different, but your approach makes perfect sense to me :)

Betsey C. said...

I wish there was a "like" button for Karin's comment!